This week I was the sole ‘No’ vote in the Transportation Committee on a pilot project that would allow remote delivery vehicles on our sidewalks --here’s why -- Our sidewalks are already congested with scooters and bicycles, and adding more vehicles to the portion of the right-of-way intended for pedestrians is a recipe for disaster (just this week a man was killed on a sidewalk by two people on an electric scooter).
Additionally, we’ve worked too hard to bolster the gig economy in Los Angeles, only to see these jobs disappear along with workers, many of whom have struggled to make ends meet during the pandemic, chipped away at by automating that sector. In fact, many former rideshare (Lyft/Uber) drivers have transitioned to food and delivery service over the last year, so why would we now give those jobs up to robots? I have long fought for labor, and will continue to do so, especially when automation will compromise public safety as well. Although I voted against the aforementioned item in the Transportation Committee this week, the item will be moving on to the Public Works Committee next week and then on to the full City Council. If you agree with my position, please contact other Councilmembers and make your views and concerns heard during public comment. The public still may call into public meetings remotely, we’ve posted steps on my website here.
In fact, as California begins to lift the COVID-19 restrictions on June 15 and Los Angeles begins to open up, we will continue to work at all levels to serve our communities in a hybrid fashion, working part time in the office as well as remotely. In the meantime, I have added some new staff in the field and in my City Hall office just in time for a seamless transition with reinforced attention to issues around affordable housing and homelessness on a citywide level while I continue to prioritize in constituent services.
Our staff bring a wealth of expertise and proactive enthusiasm to partner with our communities to deliver comprehensive constituent services on behalf of our office and work to continue to make the Fifth Council District a better place to live, work and play. We are very happy to have them on our team.
Case Manager, West Los Angeles District Office
James recently completed a year and a half internship in Mayor Garcetti's Office and worked with the office of Public Engagement as well as Legislative External Affairs. James’ role in our office will be handling a number of constituent issues and tracking workflow.
James grew up in Akron, Ohio and moved to Los Angeles in 2013.
Field Deputy, Beverly Grove, Carthay Circle, Fairfax, and Melrose
Jill has a long history in public service and a passion for community engagement. Prior to working with the City, Jill led a tech company that helped individuals and organizations more effectively communicate with their elected officials and better advocate for their public interests. She also previously served as the Chief of Staff for a Missouri State Senator and the Communications Manager for the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
Vanessa currently manages all front-desk duties at the City Hall office, receiving and directing phone calls, assisting constituents, processing parking requests, correspondence, and commendations. Prior to joining Councilmember Koretz’s office, Vanessa worked as an Intensive Case Manager providing management services and harm reductions for individuals impacted by substance abuse. She also worked with a non-profit organization offering assistance to low-income communities and collaborating with Housing Development representatives to address housing insecurity.
Homelessness Policy & Strategies Liaison, Field Deputy - West LA, Century City, Cheviot Hills, and Rancho Park
For the last year and a half, Angel Izard has served as our trusted Field Deputy West LA, Century City, Cheviot Hills, and Rancho Park. In addition to those responsibilities, she is now also serving as our Homelessness Policy and Strategies Liaison. Angel is a long-time community activist and she has a deep commitment to service, having worked with many nonprofit organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles.
As part of her new homelessness liaison role, Angel has taken on a number of tasks, which include:
- Coordinating sanitation cleanups at encampments
- Working closely with homeless service agencies to ensure timely and proper outreach to unhoused CD5 residents and making sure they are connected to a case manager moving forward
- Securing LAPD deployment when law enforcement is necessary, ensuring increased patrols and police presence in areas that are seeing increased crime
- Managing our CD 5 homeless working group, who are actively seeking and submitting housing locations sites for review for homeless housing
- Coordinating constituent meetings regarding problematic encampments and public safety issues
- Working with the neighborhood prosecutor and City Attorney on criminal and civil homelessness issues
For several years my staff and I have been combing the District seeking opportunities but high real estate prices and the restrictive requirements can be frustrating. Although we have a few locations opened or in process, I have directed Angel and staff to continue seeking viable locations for our unhoused community.
One of the biggest hurdles is that current location requirements (for example, 20,000 sq. ft. minimum for vacant lots / 13,000 sq. ft. on the first floor for buildings) are way too restrictive and therefore the City is passing on all kinds of potential solutions. In fact, my office has submitted more than 60 locations for review that were summarily rejected because they didn't fit squarely on paper. In fact, I so believe that many of these locations could have worked with a little flexibility, creativity or ingenuity that I recently introduced a motion to request a second review of a number of the sites that were denied. But as long as current restrictions remain, the potential outcome is bleak in Council District 5. But I'm not giving up.
We need your help. If you know of any property in my District that you think might be a good location for permanent supportive housing or interim housing, please let my office know. We are open to any suggestions that you may have about empty lots, buildings, hotels, motels, supportive housing, interim housing, a Bridge Home shelter, tiny homes, pallet shelters, safe parking, safe camping, etc. Please send addresses and location details directly to Angel.Izard@lacity.org so we can ensure they are submitted for review right away.
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District
Mayor Signs $11.2 Billion 2021-2022 Budget
Councimember Koretz was honored to join Mayor Eric Garcetti for the signing of the City's $11.2 billion. The 2021-22 budget also features the City’s largest-ever investment to confront the homelessness crisis at $791 million. Of that, more than $200 million was allocated for a guaranteed basic income pilot, a homelessness crisis response pilot, mental health services, and eviction defense, along with a number of other programs with equity at their center.
This budget makes a commitment to a healthy, safe future for all Angelenos, funding our vital Climate Emergency Mobilization Office efforts and better-protecting frontline communities by beginning the process of phasing out oil and gas drilling in the City of LA. And it makes a commitment to preserving the ecological integrity of our city by filling positions in the Planning Department to implement the City’s hillside Wildlife Corridor pilot project and kick off the more comprehensive Rim of the Valley habitat conservation program.
This budget also enables us to address the pressing reality of increased violent crime on our streets, while also hiring and training new community intervention workers and reimagining the role of law enforcement in our communities.
Thank you to our Council President, Nury Martinez, our Budget and Finance Committee Chair, Councilmember Krekorian, and committee members for the tremendous work and collaboration to get us where we are today. You can watch the full press conference here.
Register to Provide Feedback on Several LA City Planning Updates
The Los Angeles City Planning Department has a number of upcoming online events for which the public is encouraged to sign up to learn more and provide valuable feedback. Register below at one (or more) of these upcoming City Planning events:
LA’s Transportation Demand Management Program Update Webinar June 7 or June 15
This past January, Los Angeles City Planning released an informational video and fact sheet about the proposed updates to the TDM Program. Currently, information about the TDM Ordinance and program guidelines are available to the public on the Los Angeles City Planning website.
Both webinars will contain the same information about the proposed TDM Program, followed by Q&A. Please register to receive a link for the GoToWebinar event:
Monday, June 7 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Register here.
Tuesday, June 15 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Register here.
Wildlife Ordinance Online Workshop, June 10, 6:00 p.m.
In 2014, Councilmember Koretz authored a motion directing City Planning to create an ordinance that would protect the wildlife corridors of the Santa Monica Mountains that would extend from the “Hollywood Hills” to the “Rim of the Valley.” The Department of City Planning recently released the Draft Wildlife Ordinance for the first stage pilot area along with additional project information on the new Wildlife Pilot Study webpage. You can learn more about the Wildlife Pilot Study Program and sign up to get updates from the Wildlife team. Please send comments or questions to Lena Mik at OurLA2040@lacity.org and register below for a live, online workshop to provide additional feedback and ask clarifying questions about the Draft Wildlife Ordinance.
Thursday, June 10 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Register here
Ridgeline Protection Ordinance Public Hearing, June 17, 1:00 p.m.
In response to an adopted City Council Motion authored by Councilmember Koretz, Los Angeles City Planning has prepared and released the Ridgeline Protection Ordinance (CPC-2021-3001-CA), which establishes a new Ridgeline Protection Supplemental Use District (SUD) in the Los Angeles Municipal Code.
The Ridgeline Protection SUD will contain development regulations to preserve and protect the natural crests of the mountains that surround and bisect the City of Los Angeles. Application of the proposed Ridgeline Protection Ordinance will occur through a separate Zone Change Ordinance (CPC-2021-3059-ZC), which will apply the SUD to a Pilot Area in Bel Air - Beverly Crest, as well as a portion of Hollywood.
City Planning is holding a combined virtual Staff Public Hearing for both the Ridgeline Protection Ordinance, which was released on April 19, 2021, and the related Zone Change Ordinance. Prior to the start of the Public Hearing, staff will provide an overview presentation of the proposed ordinance and its application in a pilot area. Attendees will then have an opportunity to ask clarifying questions to staff prior to the start of the actual Public Hearing, at which point attendees are encouraged to provide comments and testimony for the public record.
Click here for all the details on how to access the public hearing, which is scheduled for June 17th starting at 1:00 p.m.
Members of the public may also submit written comments to Patrick Whalen at Patrick.Whalen@lacity.org. For questions or comments specific to the Zone Change Ordinance and pilot area application, please contact Susan Wong at Susan.S.Wong@lacity.org. To receive future updates on this proposed ordinance, including notification of the City Planning Commission hearing date, please sign up to join the Ridgeline Ordinance interested parties list.
Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project Lunch With Us Webinar - June 8, 12 p.m.
The Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project will provide a high-quality transit service that will effectively serve a large and growing travel market between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside and eventually to LAX.
Metro invites you to join a one-hour lunchtime webinar to:
> Catch up on what's been happening since the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project Feasibility Study ended
> Provide an overview of the upcoming environmental process
The webinar will begin admitting attendees at 11:45am to start promptly at 12:00 noon.
Webinar Link: https://bit.ly/3bmcQUC
Webinar ID: 925 8228 1461
Registration for the meeting is not required. However, by registering here you’ll receive a meeting reminder, as well as future project information and a link to the video recording of the meeting.
Public Safety Hardening in the Fairfax District
This week Councilmember Koretz’s Director of Public Safety Greg Martayan and LAPD officers met with residential and commercial constituents concerning two homelessness encampments: one along Burton Way and another in an alley between Fairfax and Hayworth. Joining Greg were District Director Debbie Dyner Harris, Homelessness Policy & Strategies Liaison Angel Izard, Field Deputy Jill Kline and Caseworker James Ingram. The focus of these meetings were to help residents identify tools and tactics to "harden the target" against potential crime. Councilmember Koretz and staff truly appreciate the dedication of our LAPD officers and our constituents for their dedication to keeping our neighborhoods safe.
Cleaning Up Fairfax
Take a look at the great work Clean & Green did cleaning up the west side of Fairfax Ave between Melrose Ave and 3rd St! Thank you to the LA Conservation Corp’s Clean & Green Team for the quick turnaround in helping keep our Fifth District spiffy.
Sign Up for Summer Camp at LA Parks
Looking for summer programs for the kids this summer? LA Parks provide a wealth of classes and day camps throughout the City.
Click here to find a program near you.
Summer Play L.A. is being offered from June 14th to August 13th, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with optional extended care for children ages 6 to 14 years old. Registration is already open and space is limited so please sign up while space is still available.
Here to Serve
My office, like all City of Los Angeles offices, is following recommended protocols such as social distancing and working remotely to slow the spread of the coronavirus. That said, my staff and I are always readily available to help with your questions, concerns, and needs during this difficult period. We can be reached by phone at 213-473-7005, 323-866-1828 (West LA), or 818-971-3088 (Bel Air/ Encino) and through email firstname.lastname@example.org. Since we are experiencing a higher-than-normal volume of calls, feel free to email the staff member you wish to contact directly. The accompanying link contains those e-mail addresses.